More than 5,200 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Borno have benefitted from the economic empowerment schemes of the National Programme on Food Security (NPFS) of the Federal Government.
Mr Bala Ahmad, the Director of Engineering, Borno State Agricultural Development Programme (BOSADP), told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maiduguri on Monday that the beneficiaries were women and youths.
Ahmad said that the programme, tagged ‘‘Community-based Agricultural and Rural Development Programme’’ of the Federal Government, was designed to improve the living standards of the beneficiaries.
“‘The implementing agencies of the scheme are Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development through the National Programme on Food Security (NPFS), the Bank of Industry (BOI) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) of the United Nations.
“The programme was launched in eight northern states where poverty is widespread; the states are Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara in the Northwest, as well as Borno and Yobe in the Northeast.
“The programme targets a large section of the rural population, especially women, youths and the most vulnerable, as well as small-scale farmers.
“In Borno, the beneficiaries, who are mostly persons displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency, are from seven councils which include Jere, Maiduguri Metropolitan Council, Konduga, Damboa, Bama, Biu and Benishaik.
“The beneficiaries were asked to register as members of cooperative societies where they were divided into 30 groups.
“They are to benefit from three basic programmes. The first group, comprising mostly women, was given hybrid cows to improve their livelihoods through the production of milk and other cattle-related products.
“We engaged livestock facilitators who assisted the beneficiaries in selecting hybrid breed of cows that can yield quick returns.
“Under the programme, some women were also supported with sewing and milling machines so as to enable them engage in groundnut and palm oil production,’’ he said.
A lot of families were displaced during Boko Haram’s reign of terror in the North-Eastern part of Nigeria, and Borno was the worse hit, according to reports.
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